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  Mach 25 patch: collectible or contraband? (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Mach 25 patch: collectible or contraband?
Apollo 8
Member

Posts: 166
From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-22-2012 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spaceguy5:
Here's my first attempt at making a replica.
Your patch replica doesn't look that bad — I have seen worse versions sold on eBay...

If you improve it and ever think about selling some of them, I want to buy one from you. I have a nice collection of USN and USAF astronaut name tags from the original distributor at home, and it would be fine to add a real good looking Mach 25 patch replica!

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 400
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-22-2012 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I re-digitized it, adding in details from Jacques' photo. I couldn't quite get the stitches on the 25 right, but overall it's very close. I'll post another photo once I find out what it looks like sewn out.

As for selling copies, I might make a few extras to sell. I already had someone contact me asking for some for a film project. Because this replica is so close to the original, I'm going to add a tag under the iron-on backing on the backside indicating it's a replica--I saw an auction from a few years ago where someone was suckered into paying over $200 for 2 (poor at that) reproductions which were advertised as originals, and I want to avoid that happening to people in the future.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-22-2012 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice. And it does look very much like the original.

The idea of putting a tag under the backing is also great idea. It will help keep the value for the originals. (Very considerate to those that have one.)

Apollo 8
Member

Posts: 166
From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-22-2012 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, your new version looks great! It's fair to do something that the patches can be recognized as replicas. I am real looking forward to get one of your Mach 25 patches!

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 400
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-23-2012 05:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's my first try at sewing out the new design. I've found a few areas that need fixed (especially around the blue outline). Also the stabilizer came a little loose so a few parts are misshapen. Both blues are still a little off as my new thread colors haven't arrived yet. Overall it came out really good. I might try making the next one on our other embroidery machine, which is better.

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 400
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-25-2012 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got my replica finished. I had to make quite a few practice ones as I kept running into design errors, but I think the final version is more than close enough. Here's a picture.

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-26-2012 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was indeed hoping to do more research on this topic, but I don't think it will happen. So, I dug out the important photos and put them on Flickr.

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 400
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-26-2012 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recognize most of those as being the Malaysian reproduction (which is currently sold on eBay). As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it looks like that reproduction was made by (badly) tracing over an earlier reproduction, which someone had posted an image of here. Even the two patches from the Aurora auction are reproductions (one is the Malaysian one, the other is the one which the Malaysian one attempted to imitate).

What's the size of the patch you have? On eBay, the Malaysian ones are listed as being about 2.7" wide. Based on photos, most of the real patches are just barely over 2" wide (about the same height as the nametag, which is a few mm over 2"). Though, as you noted, I have seen a few astronauts with slightly larger ones. I would guess that they were made from different batches.

The image of the orbiter also seems to just barely vary on different patches. The orbiter is obviously taken from the STS-2 patch, but the artwork was highly simplified so that it would fit on a very small scale. Most of the details on the orbiter look like they are made up of two or so layers of thread and nothing more.

For placement on clothing, it seems on flight suits, most are placed underneath the name plate either in the center or towards the zipper, and some are placed above the name plate. I haven't seen many on flight jackets, although in most pictures I've seen, it's placed above.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-26-2012 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris - As I've posted earlier in this thread, I have an original, circa 1991. I'll dig it out and post some measurements. Hope that helps!

hoorenz
Member

Posts: 733
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 05-27-2012 03:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And mine is still at mach25.nl.

I notice that you have doubts about the Bill Grush story. Why is that?

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-27-2012 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think there is perhaps a Malaysian made patch in this group of photos, but if you have a Malaysian patch you will recognize that most of these are better made. I'd guess Taiwan, actually.

I spoke to Mr. Grush a few times related to this. He replied:

I was offered the Mach 25 as an extension order of one being produced for another 'customer.' I believe that customer to be NASA or whoever orders them for the astronauts!!! I ordered them in total blind faith + was never sorry; as no one other than myself has ever had them available to the public to my knowledge. I was fearful enough of their genuineness that I never advertised or offered very often & even limited distribution of my catalog in the early 1990s for that reason. I have only circumstantial & anecdotal information but nothing has contradicted my assertions. It also appears that soon thereafter sometime in the 1990s that NASA increased the size of the Mach 25 as they realized that some legit ones had gotten out & the patch had always been jealously guarded!!!. I'm sending a jpeg for your reference.
These patches were not official. They were patches for an informal club that probably didn't have any formal art or design standards. It is my expectation they were made in very small batches as cheaply as possible. I would not be surprised at all if Mr. Grush or anyone would have been given the opportunity to buy some to reduce the overall unit price when a larger order was being made.

I was putting together a compilation of photos of these patches along with the wearers name tag. In going through those, almost all the patches are now very uniform in size and quality. It is the older patches that vary the most.

I'd be glad to send these pics to anyone, if interested in continuing this effort.

hoorenz
Member

Posts: 733
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 05-27-2012 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is almost exactly the story he told me when I ordered mine some 15 years ago from him (for 25 dollars a piece) although in that version, he stated (or I understood) that he had actively ordered the Mach 25 patches and was told at that time by the embroiderer that by coincidence, they already had that file in their archives, and indeed, that they believed the other customer was NASA. For me, it was easy to see that these patches were nothing like NASA astronauts had ever worn, so I knew something about that story was not right.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-27-2012 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay. Edge to edge, my patch is 2.25" high and 3" wide, ignoring the extra width caused by the orbiters nose sticking out beyond the edge of the patch. If you then take into account that the patch is a parallelogram, overall, the patch is 3.75" wide.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-27-2012 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you go back and read my earlier post, what I was told about my patch, which we've shown to be original, was that it came from a shuttle pilot. At that time, because these really aren't considered patches but rather qualification badges, they were controlled by NASA and only given to those that have flown at Mach 25 under controlled flight. And that is why only shuttle crews qualified to receive this "badge". We've also shown that it was common practice for the crew commander to hand them out to the crew during the outbrief.

All that being said, at that time the ONLY place you could get them (official ones anyway) was from NASA, any others were merely replicas of the real thing.

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-28-2012 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-28 crew photo shows that there are differing sizes of these patches (see my flickr pics, link above).

These are patches belonging to a club of people who flew Mach 25. Note also a Mach 26 patch and an ISS 100 days patch similarly designed.

These are not qualification badges like a military sharpshooter would receive. Further, I do not think anyone at NASA would tell you these are official.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-29-2012 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, I'm not trying to be argumentative here. But I apparently need to clarify.

You are correct that there are differing sizes and also a Mach 26 badge as well. (Although, most of these are a standard size, 2.25" x 3".) It depends on which crew and when they received their badge.

However, what I was trying to differentiate was the "official" badges from the reproductions. The "official" ones are only available from NASA, the reproductions can be obtained from a lot of sources.

What's important here to us as collectors is the origin of the patch you may have in your collection. The "official" ones, from NASA having much more value due to their rarity and control on distribution than the reproductions.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-29-2012 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just received the Mach 25 replicas I ordered from James on Friday (Yes, that fast, even with the holiday!), and I'm very happy with them. Looking at quality photos of originals (here and elsewhere), they look to be very high-fidelity. Measurements are 2.75" along the top and bottom edges, 2.25" along the left and right, and 3.75" diagonally from the lower left to upper right. Most critically for collectors, each has an embedded, numbered "replica" backing tag. Thanks James (and your mom!) for producing these.

lono_68
New Member

Posts: 1
From: Hawai
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 06-16-2012 01:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lono_68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too just got my patches from James and I can't help but just say this...AWESOME! He did such a terrific job on them that I'm blown away. I pulled out that really terrible copy I got from a Malaysian dealer and no comparison. Can't beat good 'ole "Made In America!".

Thanks James!! The chocolate covered macadamia nuts are on there way!

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-16-2012 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Second the above (except for the macademia nuts, please inform) the patches I ordered are excellent.

Thank you for the effort to create and distribute these.

Spaceguy5
Member

Posts: 400
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 06-16-2012 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From AB Emblem's facebook page:

quote:
Check out our handiwork, STS-134 mission patch, the Mach 25 patch, and the NASA vector. All made with pride by A-B Emblem.


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